Chapter 8

…that sits upon many waters

Entire Chapter

Revelation 13:1 – And I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. And on its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads was the name of blasphemy.

Revelation 17:1 – And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither and I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and by which the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Revelation 17:5 – And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.

Revelation 17:15 – And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

When most Americans consider the geographical United States of America, (unless they live in Alaska or Hawaii), they readily think of the contiguous 48 adjoining states on the continent of North America. If asked what are the waters that America might “sit on,” their first thoughts usually go the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and Gulf of Mexico. For some people, those waters alone don’t fit their perception of the biblical description of “many waters.” However, when considering the fact that the Greek word which was translated as “many” in verse one has also been translated “great” 52 times and “much” 73 times in the New Testament, then the plausible various meanings of the Greek word easily allow these combined three bodies of waters to biblically qualify as both “great” and “much” water. This is especially true when considering how together, just the Atlantic and the Pacific, make up approximately 76 percent of the world’s oceans and cover over 45 percent of the collective surface area of the entire planet.  When Alaska is considered along with the 48 adjoining states, the “many waters” would now include the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea: increasing the aforementioned percentages considerably.

Moreover, when we take into consideration the foothold presence that the American military has all over the world, we must agree that America sits on “many waters.”  During the Sept. 12, 2011, Republican presidential debate in Tampa, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas stated in regard to America’s military presence, “We’re in 130 countries, and we have 900 bases around the world.” Since this number seemed to be questionably high, Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact Check decided to check the accuracy of Representative Ron Paul’s statement. Accordingly, they “found U.S. military personnel on the ground in a whopping 148 countries… … However, we should add a caveat, for in 56 of these 148 countries, the U.S. had present less than 10 active-duty personnel. In addition, this was but a snapshot of the then current global military footprint, so it may not have included all temporary training missions and humanitarian assistance activities then, nor the amount occurring today. “Such activities are so pervasive you almost have to wonder how the other 70 countries manage to avoid hosting such operations,” said John Pike, the director of globalsecurity.org, which is a national security think tank.

 Regarding their fact checking of Representative Ron Paul’s claim of a total of 900 bases, PolitiFact Check “turned to an official Pentagon accounting of U.S. military bases around the nation and the world, the “Base Structure Report, Fiscal 2010 Baseline.”

The verification of the personnel count was a Sept. 30, 2010, Pentagon document titled, “Active Duty Military Personnel Strengths by Regional Area and by Country.” Their conclusion was “According to this report, the U.S. has 662 overseas bases in 38 foreign countries, which is a smaller number than the 900 bases Paul cited. But here again, the list omits several nations integral to active operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, so it’s conceivable that the actual number of sites approaches 900.” 

At the time of my original writing this, according to Wikipedia, “The military of the United States is deployed in more than 150 countries around the world, with over 160,000 of its active-duty personnel serving outside the United States and its territories and an additional 110,000 deployed in various contingency operations.” When totaling the countries, listed on Wikipedia by region, in which U.S. military personnel are deployed, the total is over 198,000. Those numbers are based on the most recent United States Department of Defense statistics as of June 30, 2014. It would seem that without question American troops are spread across the globe, and that therefore America is indeed sitting on “many waters.” Though obviously these statistics do vary slightly year to year, but according to their own Department of Defense report for 2008 we are told that “no other nation in the world has such widespread global military presence.” 

According to The Center for Research and Globalization, an independent research organization, “The United States Military is currently deployed to more locations than it has been throughout history.” We must also recognize that not only does the U.S. have military presence all over the world; it also maintains diplomatic relations with almost every country as well. According to a June 29, 2009, report from the State Department, there are 192 countries in the world and except for Bhutan, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea; the United States has diplomatic relations with them all.

Consequently, American Presidential foreign policies since the end of World War II  have impacted the rest of the world probably more than any other nation in history, except of course for Israel itself with the restoration of it. For again, if we are to rightly divide scripture and understand these prophecies, we cannot afford to lose sight of the direct correlation that exists between the seven-headed beast and Israel, both of which it is and can be said “was, is not, and yet is.”

Many out of a patriotic love for country may be compelled to protest that not all of American foreign policies have been bad, and demand an acknowledgement of all the good America has done throughout the world. For Americans have led in missionary work, administered foreign aid, and often defended weaker nations against the tyrannical intrusion of more powerful neighboring countries.

However, let’s consider each of these points. First, it is the Church in America, not America the country, that has sent out the missionaries into the rest of the world. even though many of them are American based churches, not all are, for many of these denominations began in Europe before America was established. Nevertheless, the principle remains true, that “to whom much is given, much is required.” Therefore, since per capita American Christians are more prosperous than those in other countries, it is only right that they would be faithfully giving more to promote the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to attribute or make synonymous the obedient works of the Church with the policies of state; they are distinctly separate and should always remain definably so.

This brings us to the second point, that America has administered foreign aid, not only in times of crisis, but in some situations on a fairly consistent basis with some of the more impoverished countries. Certainly, charity can not only flow through the Church, but can also be administered through various branches of governments around the world, and in certain limited situations it very well should be. However, there is often a huge contrast to be noted between the so-called charitable practices of governments with those of true biblical charity, because biblical charity is synonymous with a righteous love. This means the motive behind the act of giving aid to others ought to be out of a selfless concern with no expectation of anything in return; for true charity “does not behave indecently and does not seek her own.” That isn’t to imply there shouldn’t be a measure of gratitude from the recipients, however, when so much has been given conditionally to those in dire conditions, gratitude is often swallowed up by the recipient’s awareness that their plight is actually being exploited to manipulate them into submission.  This can be seen in the expectancy of the compliance of third world countries to align their own policies and/or to make strategic space available for the use and purpose of the aid providing country or organization.

The third point, defending weaker nations against the tyrannical intrusion of more powerful neighboring countries, this too is most often done with strategic motives. Any motive that is not focused on the sole benefit of the recipient and the glory of God fails to be true biblical charity. For the true test is to examine the purity of motive; for true charity, a righteously motivated love and commitment for others, will always be selfless. If giving to others is even the least bit self-serving,  it is not true charity, and in the eyes of God profits the giver nothing.

1st Corinthians 13:4 – Charity has patience and is kind; charity is not envious, is not vain, nor puffed up; 5 nor does it behave indecently. It does not seek its own, is not easily provoked, nor thinks evil. 6 Charity does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices only  in the truth, 7  and will quietly cover all things, for it believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. 8 Charity never fails.

That passage brings several indictments against America and much of her foreign policies concerning our consistency and motives in providing aid and defense for other countries, and especially concerning America’s policies towards Israel of late. For these reasons, we need to acknowledge that while the strategy of the adversary is to mimic ways of God, that the deceiver’s promises are always self-serving, and often ones he never really intends to keep.

1st Corinthians 11:14 – Did not even Satan marvelously transform himself into an angel of light? 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.